Tag Archives: Richard III

RA interview with BBC Radio today; watch latest RIII doc on YT

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Just a reminder to all that the full interview with Richard Armitage regarding his career and recent discovery of “The King in the Car Park,” aka R III, will air at 11:10 a.m. GMT on BBC Radio Leicesterhttp://www.bbc.co.uk/radioleicester

I truly hope to be asleep at the time the broadcast could be heard live here, but will catch up later. I will be in town for a good portion of the afternoon, so not sure when I will get back with you all to discuss it. Humane Society meeting, a visit to the library, some shopping and an attempt to set up an appointment to trim my hair and wax the brows and ‘stache (yeah, I have one. Thank goodness it’s blonde).

Anyway, back to the Richard III story. The second Channel 4 documentary Richard III: The Unseen Story, is now available to watch ( for non-UK residents, anyway) on YouTube. Haven’t had a chance to watch it all yet, but it’s very interesting and features more of the science behind the find:

Richard’s interview with BBC Radio slated for Wednesday, preview Sunday

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Is Richard in talks for RIII project?

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According to Richard Armitage Net, Philippa Langley spoke with Radio Leicester today about the RIII project.  During the interview, Langley said Richard Armitage is currently in Los Angeles pitching the film project (aha! So that’s why he went!) and that a major distributor is on board.  Ali caught the last 12 minutes of the interview, and has a link to that audio. Unfortunately, I could not get it to work, but thought some of you might have better luck:

I did get it to work and learned RA first read Philippa’s script back in 2005.  So they’ve been acquainted for quite a while.  And there’s mention of both a television series and a big screen project as well as Richard being Philippa’s first choice to play the lead role: “I can’t see past him at this point.”

http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/news.html#feb07

I have to agree with her. I am tired of seeing the same stories told over and over again on the screen. Let’s explore something else for a change.

This is all exciting news, I have to say, both for Ricardians and Richardettes. 😉

Your thoughts?

Wrong time period, but he does make a dashing king, does he not?

Wrong time period, but he does make a dashing king, does he not?

The King in the Carpark Video & A Voice from the Past

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In case you are like me and you didn’t get to see the Channel Four documentary, “The King in the Car Park,” here it is on YouTube. Thanks to @Sinjoor for the heads up at Twitter!

I am downloading it, as it takes forever for anything over a few minutes to buffer here on my Not-So-High Speed connection, so I have only seen the first couple of minutes. Should make for fascinating viewing!

Now we know what the King looked like. But how might he have sounded?

When reading the second book in Deborah Harkness‘s “All Souls” trilogy (the series that feature the Matthew Clairmont character many are clamoring for RA to play) I was struck with just how difficult it would actually be to go back in time and communicate with people who lived centuries before you–even if you did ostensibly speak the same language.  The heroine is a 21st century scholar who believes she will be able to fit into Elizabethan society pretty effortlessly.
It’s not quite as easy as she thinks, from her size (as tall as most men of the day, if not taller) and the way she moves to the way she sounds (no one can understand her strange accent).   If you want a sampling of what scholars believe Richard III speaking the King’s (15th century) English would sound like, scroll down through this post linked below until you get to the 1:10 second Telegraph video. I tried to embed it but it kept disappearing on me. Sounds a bit Scottish, doesn’t he?

http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/02/06/leicester-and-york-in-war-over-king-richard-iii-remains/#2

York or Leicester: Where should RIII be laid to rest?

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Richard III may have been dead for more than 500 years, but he’s in the midst of a battle once again.

Now that the remains under the car park in Leicester  have been identified as belonging to Richard III, the much-maligned king is suddenly in demand. York and Leicester are now doing battle (albeit in a civilized manner, thank goodness) over where the King’s final resting place should be.

http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/02/06/leicester-and-york-in-war-over-king-richard-iii-remains/

Coat of Arms of King Richard III of England

Coat of Arms of King Richard III of England (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

a shot of the plastic facial reconstruction of Richard III Photo courtesy of Justin Tallis/Getty Images

a shot of the plastic facial reconstruction of Richard III Photo courtesy of Justin Tallis/Getty Images

I would love to hear from readers their thoughts on the subject. I find it all a bit ironic, somehow. Poor man, brutally killed and humiliated in death, tossed in a river and finally buried in a spot too small for him and vilified for centuries . . . and now two cities are at war over who gets to properly lay him to rest.

In addition, here are links to two articles that I found well worth reading on the subject of the RIII discovery

http://www.nature.com/news/body-of-evidence-1.12362

http://julesfrusher.com/2013/02/05/richard-iii-reactions-and-my-reactions-to-them-a-minor-rant/

More thoughts on a face from out of the past.

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I’ve found myself looking at screencaps of the reconstruction of RIII’s face yet again tonight. I’m drawn to it, as I am to the whole archaeological project known as “The King under the car park.”

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Richard III Society member Philippa Langley, originator of the search, said on a Channel 4 documentary earlier: “It doesn’t look like the face of a tyrant. I’m sorry but it doesn’t.

“He’s very handsome. It’s like you could just talk to him, have a conversation with him right now.”  A quote from the BBC website

I have to agree with Philippa. Looks can be deceiving, of course, but even in the portraits of the day, which might or might not have been accurate, I never got the sense of the pantomime villain presented to us so often.  History, it is said, is written by the victors; the losers often get the very short end of the stick.

I’ve always loved history. To see it come to life in the way it has with these recent developments, to hear all the details of these bones, to imagine in my mind those bones transforming into the flesh and blood man, an anointed king, a valiant warrior, brutally killed and then disrespected in death . . . I felt a sense of awe mingled with sadness.

We cannot change the past and the ignominious way Richard Plantagenet was treated in death.

But something can be done to rectify the image molded by Shakespeare and other writers of Richard III as an ugly hunchback with a withered arm and a dark, poisonous heart, a villainous murderer with no redeeming qualities.

Richard Plantagenet was a human being and certainly not perfect, but many signs point to him being a much more sympathetic (and far better-looking) individual and a better king than history and literature have painted him.

That’s why I am so psyched at the notion of Richard III’s story being told on screen. Even if Richard Armitage is unable for whatever reason to play a part in its coming to fruition, I dearly hope it happens.

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Richard III Society member and RIII screenwriter Philippa Langley at the site of the excavation. Courtesy of examiner.com.

I have a lot of admiration for Philippa Langley and her dogged determination to find the King and to see his tale told properly. I appreciate all those who supported and participated in this dig and the dedicated researchers whose efforts established beyond a reasonable doubt the identity of the bones.  What an amazing odyssey!

Here’s a link to the live Q&A held earlier today by Channel 4 with Philippa and Professor Lin Foxhall of the University of Leicester. There’s some interesting queries and responses if you haven’t seen it yet:

http://www.channel4.com/programmes/richard-iii-the-king-in-the-car-park/articles/live-qa-with-philippa-langley-and-lin-foxhall

And just for fun, this bit of art that’s been making the rounds on the Net:

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And a glimpse of Guy, looking rather Richard III-like:

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In the shadows no more; or the Return of the King

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The individual whose remains were unearthed in a car park in September 2012 were confirmed this morning as being those of Richard III, the last Plantagenet King of England.

I, along with a number of fellow RA fans listened/watched BBC Leicester this morning to hear the presentation by the various individuals on their research results. Excitement seemed to build as they shared the details. Surely, surely all the evidence pointed to it being the slain king?

richardIII

Finally the DNA evidence was given and the verdict shared: the body that had been in the shadow of Leicester Cathedral was the last Plantagenet.

Some of us cheered. Some of cried. I felt a chill down my spine.

Plans are for the monarch to be re-interred within the walls of the cathedral, in the shadows no more.  Tonight’s documentary will also include the full facial reconstruction that’s been done from the skull of the King to be compared with his portraits.

It appears Richard III’s appearance–the withered arm and the extreme deformity of his back–as seen in Shakespeare’s play and other writings were the fabrication some had imagined them to be.

king-richard-iii-skeleton

“The wind of change is blowing,” said Phillipa Langley of the Richard III Society, saying it was now time to discover the truth about a king much maligned by political spin doctors and writers of the past.

“We have searched for Richard, and we have found him,” Langley, who has written a script about R III, said. “Now it is time to honour him.”

There are plans to re-inter the King in the cathedral no later than August 2014. White roses were placed there shortly after the announcement was made.

English: King Richard III and his family in th...

English: King Richard III and his family in the contemporary Rous Roll in the Heralds’ College. Left to right: Anne Neville, Queen of King Richard 3rd; King Richard 3rd; Edward, Prince of Wales, their son. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here’s a link to BBC Leicester’s report:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leicestershire-21282241

And here’s a link to an article about Philippa Langley:

http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2013-02-04/meet-philippa-langley-the-woman-who-discovered-richard-iii-in-a-car-park#.UQ-gKf0y_qs.twitter

Now, we really need to hear from a certain Leicester lad . . .  surely he and his dad were watching/listening as the historic announcement was made? What thoughts were going through their heads?

It’s an exciting moment for Leicester and for England, that is for certain, and a special one for Richard Armitage fans and lovers of history around the world.

Counting sheep or counting Lucases?

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My eyes are playing up on me again so here I am, wearing my reading glasses on top of my battered old bifocals. Looks ridiculous but hey, it works! 😉

I just put in more allergy drops and took some Aleve earlier for a nagging headache. Watching a late night re-broadcast of Inspector Lewis Mysteries I must have missed on the first go-round on PBS and trying to wind down.  All the sleep I got was during the day (one of those nights I couldn’t rest if my life had depended on it) and hoping for better results tonight.

I have to confess I am feeling excited about the announcement from the University of Leicester re Richard III and possible comments to come from RA regarding it.  When I am eagerly anticipating something it makes resting even more difficult. My body gets tired, but my brain refuses to let go.  Lots of thoughts whirling through my mind . . .

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Yes, I even wear out my sheep some nights, poor things.  I bet Lucas can relate, although the thoughts that crowd my mind are likely of a more pleasant quality than his . . .

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Now, if I can fall asleep and have some of the vivid dreams I have had in recent months, perhaps it could feature something like this:

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I could live with that. Yeah, works for me.

Richard Armitage, you are such a sweetheart.

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First let me say, I love a sweet, thoughtful man. You can be a sweet guy and still be strong and manly. My husband of more than 27 years is a prime example of that. An older friend of mine once described him as “adorable,” and I heartily concur.

Someone else who can be described as adorable and sweet is Richard Armitage. That was reinforced for me today listening to the message he sent to the BBC radio presenter when he was unable to call into the Richard III special as had been expected. Thanks go to Servetus at Me + Richard Armitage and a friend who shared this with her:

Certainly, I am disappointed that we didn’t get to actually hear Richard weigh in on the subject of RIII and possibly give us more intel on the proposed film project. But I am also delighted that he took the time to “fumble with his iPad” and send an email en route to L.A. As some have said, he could have turned that responsibility over to his agent. But he went for the personal touch in his typically well-mannered, self-deprecating way, and I appreciate him all the more for it.

Mr. and Mrs. Armitage, I will say once more what a well-brought up son you have. Thank you for bringing him into this world and rearing him so beautifully. He truly is a great gift, a real class act, in our lives.

(And a right old globetrotter these days, too!)

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I believe there are so many exciting things ahead for Richard, and I am excited to be along for the ride, however it all may transpire.

RA offered role as Richard III *UPDATE*

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 Is Richard’s vision of giving a sympathetic portrayal of the much-maligned British monarch one step closer to reality?
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Could be.
Below is the contents of an article by Kathleen Nutt in The Herald Scotland dated today, February 2, 2013.

A Scots-based researcher who instigated a dig for the remains of Richard III says she has persuaded The Hobbit star Richard Armitage to play the king in a proposed new film.

Philippa Langley finished a screenplay about the medieval monarch’s life last year, months after she led archaeologists to a spot where a skeleton believed to be his was found.

Ms Langley, 50, who is secretary of the Scottish branch of the Richard III Society, came up with the idea of the search during a meeting of the group in February 2009.

Results of tests are to be revealed over the next day or so, conclusively proving whether the remains are indeed those of the last Plantagenet monarch.

Ms Langley contacted Armitage, 41, who plays dwarf leader Thorin Oakenshield in Peter Jackson’s blockbuster, and says he agreed to take on the role. Armitage has also starred in a number of television series including Spooks, Robin Hood and the Vicar of Dibley.

Richard III was killed at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485 by the forces of Henry Tudor, effectively ending the 30-year-long War of the Roses.

He is often regarded as an ugly, hunchbacked tyrant, but Langley believes history has judged him unfairly and the popular view of him stems from the Tudors, who were keen to damage his reputation in order to justify his killing.

Her screenplay presents a sympathetic portrait of him, underlining his accomplishments such as the introduction of the presumption of innocence of an accused facing trial.

It also disputes the opinion he was responsible for the murders of his nephews, 12-year-old Edward V and nine-year-old Richard, Duke of York, the so-called Princes in the Tower.

“I had to write the screenplay. Richard III’s story has to be out there. I want that story to be told. I had Richard Armitage in mind to play him and he has agreed,” said Ms Langley.

“Not only he is a dead ringer for Richard III, but he was born a few miles away from Bosworth field and was named after him.”

Ms Langley, who lives in Edinburgh, is now seeking funding for the film.

She has also drawn up plans to give the dead monarch a proper burial, commissioning an artist and historian to design a tomb if, as expected, tests confirm the remains found in a car park in Leicester in August are his.

A photograph given exclusively to The Herald shows part of the tomb. It is decorated with the White Rose, the heraldic sign of Richard’s House of York, and the cross of St Cuthbert, one of his most venerated saints.

“I always had two aims,” said Ms Langley. “One was to undertake original research into Richard III and to bring the real historical figure to the forefront rather than the Shakespearean and Tudor version of him.

“But the second, which was actually my main aim, was to try and retrieve his remains from an undignified place and give them the reburial that fits a king.”

After Richard III was killed, his body was despoiled before being taken to Leicester, where he was buried in the church of the Franciscan Friary, known as the Grey Friars. However, over time the exact whereabouts of the Grey Friars became lost.

Kirk Wheelan-Foran, Armitage’s agent, said: “It is very early days. Richard is not in the country at the moment.”

 The documentary Richard III: The King in the Car Park, about Langley’s search for Richard III’s remains, is to be broadcast on Channel 4 on Monday at 9 pm.

It’s certainly exciting news (especially on one’s blogiversary!). And Richard’s profile has definitely risen since his impressive performance as Thorin Oakenshield. Of course, as his agent pointed out, it’s very early days yet.

One assumes it would be shot in or close to the U.K. so Richard would have to be available to do so. He’s got several weeks of Hobbit scenes to complete in New Zealand and possibly other commitments of which we aren’t aware.

And before filming could start, financial backing has to be in place. That could take some time. Scouting locations, lining up a good director, casting . . .  there’s a lot that has to come together before the Richard III film is a reality.

Still.

I’m excited.  How about you?

UPDATE 2/3/2013  According to a Tweet this morning by @BBCLeicester, Richard Armitage will join @adavearadio from LA live after 5 p.m. to talk Richard III on 104.9 FM 

Will we hear more about the proposed film project? Maybe . . .

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The Leicester Lad Talks R III

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The fans have spoken and their voices have been heard in regards to making Richard Armitage‘s Richard III dream project come true. Boo-yah! See the link below to article in Leicester Mercury:

He really does make a splendid-looking king, does he not?

He really does make a splendid-looking king, does he not?

http://www.thisisleicestershire.co.uk/Fans-clamour-actor-king/story-17937749-detail/story.html

Richard still fears he’ll be too old (as well as too tall) to play the tragic monarch. Unless it takes an awfully long time to come to fruition, I would still like to see him tackle the role. Maybe it’s just my shallow desire to see him with S3 Guy hair again? I just know he could make us believe.

As I have mentioned before, I am a fan of Josephine Tey’s  excellent The Daughter of Time,  which is one of the works that inspired the actor named after Richard III to delve deeper into the much-maligned monarch’s true story.  I confess I still have to read The Sunne in Splendour (it’s on my Kindle with about 1,000 other books), but I am sure those who have read/are reading the book have their own ideas about other roles Mr. A might undertake if he didn’t play the lead.

Edit: Here’s an additional article and programme note of interest for my UK readers:

http://www.channel4.com/info/press/programme-information/richard-iii-the-king-in-the-car-park

From the Russian Forum: RA on “King” Thorin, King R III

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Here’s a short video from the Wellington red carpet courtesy of the Russian Forum and Nadia, which touches on playing a hero and the heartthrob question, and whether or not RA still wants to play Richard III . . .

Armitage’s Vernal Magic: TAE Word for the Day

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The Fountain of Youth by Lucas Cranach the Elder

The Fountain of Youth by Lucas Cranach the Elder (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Postcard from the Fountain of Youth in St. Aug...

Richard in full Boyish Charmer Mode.

A photoartist's conception of the Fountain of Youth. Some have speculated Mr. Armitage is something of a fountain of youth for his devoted admirers.

As noted in a previous post, today is the first day of spring, and our TAE Word for the Day fits right in with the season–and with the subject of this blog.

vernal (adjective) 1. Appearing or occurring in spring 2. Of or pertaining to spring. 3. Appropriate to or suggesting spring; spring-like. 4.Belonging to or characteristic of youth.

It has sometimes been suggested Mr. Armitage has a vernal influence on his fans. We may be past our first bloom, now longer considered fowl of the current season; and yet, in the presence of Richard Armitage’s magical allure–those eyes, those smiles, that voice, that physique, that sweet and charming nature of his–we feel like giddy young schoolgirls again, as frisky as a young colt, full of spit and vinegar with exciting possibilities around every corner. Blondes may not necessarily have more fun; but this blonde has definitely had more fun since RA came into my life.

Richard himself can at times seem amazingly boyish even at 40; he has a very vernal quality to him, wouldn’t you say?

If the vernal Essence of Richard Armitage could somehow be captured and bottled, the man could make an absolute fortune and his dream Richard III project would face no financial difficulties whatsoever.

 

(Screencap courtesy of RANet, other images Wikipedia)

FanstRAvaganza 3 Day 5: (Freeform) What are your dream RA audiobooks? With Poll

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So many books, such a wonderful, rich, deep, marvelously expressive voice. So hard to choose which ones you’d would most like to have Richard record as an audiobook . . . but here are some suggestions from fellow bloggers and readers for books they would like to see (or should I say, hear) receiving Mr. Honey Tongue’s treatment. Vote for your top picks in our poll that will be up for one week and check out some comments on why these and other books were chosen. Please feel free to share your own choices that aren’t on this list. Enjoy “browsing” through the books!

Sorry, I know there are some goofs in the poll in spellings but it won’t allow me to go in and change anything in the poll without starting all over again and this was the third time I did this . . . let’s say I haven’t been my best lately in terms of getting restorative sleep. Anyway, the names of authors are correct in the body copy here and on the book covers. 😉 Thanks for the heads up, KG. Don’t forget to vote!
Not too surprisingly The Hobbit and North & South appeared on more than one wish list. Another novel that made it to multiple lists was The Sunne in Splendour. This Sharon Kay Penman book chronicles the life of Richard III, the focus of RA’s dream project and a thread here for F3.
“I’m desperate for him to play Richard III and not the Shakespeare/Tudor travesty version!,” says Vicki.
“But if that can’t happen, his narration of the book would be the next best thing.”

Richard’s narration of Bernard Cornwell’s Lords of the North has some readers wanting more from the RA/BC team.
“I would love Death of Kings because Richard has already done Uthred and he was fab,” says Debbie.
Carla wants to hear Cornwell’s Excalibur: A Story of Arthur. Carla’s also pining for Austen’s Emma and Hardy’s Far from the Madding Crowd. “Historical and romantic novels” are what she prefers to hear Mr. A do.

Debbie would like to hear Mr. A’s golden tongue wrap around Richard Llewellyn‘s 1939 bestseller How Green Was My Valley.
“Can you just imagine That Voice reading that book?” she says with a sigh.

Two classic novels on Vicki’s wish list includes Tolstoy’s War & Peace and Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover.

“I have War & Peace sitting on my shelf and I confess I have never gotten more than a few chapters in before giving up. I think Richard might just be the incentive I need to get to the end! It’s a very long book–and I would want it unabridged–and we would get the chocolate velvet voice treat for longer. Plus, I am sure he’d need to do more Lucas-esque Russian words/accents.”

As for the Lawrence book–Vicki says she doesn’t think that one needs any explanation.

Amanda would love for RA to continue his Heyer tradition and read Sprig Muslin. “It’s a great story, there’s a wide range of male and female characters of all ages–and on a shallow note, there is a character named Amanda.” She also pines for John Milton’s “breathtakingly beautiful poetry,” Paradise Lost  and any of Lisa Kleypas’s Hathaway series, particularly Mine ‘Til Midnight.

Laurie admits she has a hard time narrowing down her choices. “I would love to hear him read Diana Gabaldon‘s Outlander series and the Thomas Pitt and William Monk mystery novels by Anne Perry. All these books have wonderful stories and rich characters . . . I could go on and on.”

Judit is looking for laughs with one of her dream audiobooks: Leave it to Psmith by PG Wodehouse. “Richard would be absolutely hilarious as Lord Emsworth, Freddie Threepwood and, of course, Psmith.” She would also like to hear him take on a contemporary work, Nick Hornsby’s About a Boy, a novel she describes as “funny, moving and one of my all-time favourites.” Iz4blue is in a classic mood with her choice of Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence.

Nadia would love to hear Richard narrating Alexander Dumas’s The Count of Monte Cristo. “It’s an amazing story of betrayal and revenge . . . complex, epic, heartbreaking, sorrowful. Richard would make a wonderful Comte de Monte Cristo–romantic, handsome, mysterious. At more than 1300 pages, sweet Richard’s mouth would be dry!” (There definitely seemed to be a trend towards unabridged books–and lengthy ones.)

So, would  you put some of these titles on your own audio book wish lists? Or do you have some entirely different reads in mind for RA? Do tell!

If you missed yesterday’s posts in the free form thread, visit Gratiana at  http://gratianads90@wordpress.com ,   Jas Rangoon at http://memythoughtsandwhoknows@wordpress.com   and Itsjsforme at http://doIhaveablog@wordpress.com.  Today, head over to JT’s Blog at http://mrjthornton@blogspot.com  and to Agzy at http://iwanttobeapinup@wordpress.com  Tomorrow’s freeform tagteamers will be Fabo at http://whiterosewritings@blogspot.com, Cat Winchester at http://cswinchester@blogspot.com and Gratiana at http://gratianads90@wordpress.com.

Check out all these fab posts! Hope you are having a fantRAstic time at FanstRAvaganza.

And please considering supporting worthwhile charities, including animal welfare groups in your area. Adopt a shelter pet, donate food and supplies to your local shelter, volunteer your time.  Please have your pets spayed and neutered in order for them to lead happier, healthier lives and to help reduce the pet over-population problem.